Don’t Make Spam — Create Content Your Customers Want

\"\"Many of us equate email marketing to spam – the contents of a junk folder that we, thankfully, never have to see. Today’s email filters are quite adept at pulling unwanted email prior to inbox delivery. Since email marketing is an effective, reliable tool that will generate considerable leads, sales, and readership when properly implemented, any filtering from your intended recipients’ inboxes indicates you are doing something wrong.

Lowest usage for mobile email is Monday and for desktop, Sunday

The key is to design email campaigns in such a way as to create demand for the content. That is best accomplished by coordinating email blasts with other marketing tools like search engine optimization, social media, and publishing as part of a holistic approach that is welcomed, not shunned.

Many email campaign failures are the result of impulsive responses to email service provider ads, without effective planning and analysis. Buying a list is nearly always a waste of money. Why? Because you have no way of gauging the number of invalid addresses. And, there is usually very little correlation between your target market and the random assemblage of email addresses you receive from the vendor. You may as well go to your own spam folder and send out yours to them. At least that list is free!

The email open rate for mobile devices increased by 34% from April to September of 2011 over the previous six months

An eNewsletter is a great way to begin a solid email campaign. Since design is important, check out MailChimp for free templates that will get you started. Or if you want more control and a customized look (like the Strategic eMarketing email newsletter) ask us about using our software. Then, follow this proven six-step newsletter process that will likely deliver positive ROI (return on investment):

  1. Assemble a list of your previous contacts. Who could possibly be more interested in your products and services than those already acquainted with you and your company? Be sure to include friends, family and other advocates.
  2. Write a short (200-300 words) article about a specific item or feature. Even though it should go without saying, be certain the content is interesting, relevant, and written with good grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  3. Offer a simple opt-out process via your preference center. You will soon see how well or poorly your piece is being received; you will maintain a devoted readership, and you are less likely to incur the wrath of your internet service provider for sending out spam.
  4. Consistently deliver the newsletter on the same date and time. Ideally, you are creating anticipation and habit with your readers. Any break in this routine will diminish readership.
  5. Since your interesting newsletter will get passed from your current list to others, create a link back to your website to learn more about your company and to add their name to the newsletter mailing.
  6. Observe the growth of your readership and notice any correlation to a specific newsletter that may have sparked particular interest.

With any email campaign you must closely monitor your results. On a monthly basis make sure to track your:

  • Bounce rate (the number of emails that do not reach the destination inbox)
  • List growth rate
  • Click through rate (CTR – the percentage of your sent emails that click on at least one link)
  • Sharing rate – the percentage of delivered email that has enabled a share or forward button.
  • Conversion rate – the number of email recipients who made contact or initiated a purchase

There are no longer any cost effective shortcuts to good email marketing. You now have to earn subscribers. Be honest about your product or service capabilities. Your email subject should define what the newsletter will contain – tips, product updates, offers, etc. Most importantly, you must give value relating to their needs. You will retain subscribers only if they are getting something in return for their time to open and read.